How To Choose The Right Water Heater In Austin, Tx?

Whether you own tank water heaters or tankless units, water heaters can dramatically impact your home’s comfort & costs.

While we often take a hot shower for granted, it’s important to note that up to 20% of a household’s annual energy expenditure comes from heating water. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, this makes it the second-largest utility expense in the home, averaging around $400 – $600 per year.

If you are looking forward to installing a new hot water heater or replacing your existing one, the size, type, and efficiency of the unit you choose will have a big impact on its performance and your long-term savings.

There are several different types of water heaters to consider from heat pump water heaters to solar-powered units, but the most common are the tank and tankless ones. Traditional tank-style water heaters have large metal cylinders that keep hot water stored for when it may be needed. Since they can range in capacity from 40 to 60 gallons and generally are around 60″ tall by 24″ wide, they are often installed in a basement or laundry room.

To enjoy hot water in your home, you’ll need a fuel source to heat it first. Not all of us can have the same options available, depending on where we live, so there are sources that you can rule out right away. But first, let’s examine the possibilities of various fuel types.

  • Electricity – Electricity has a lot going for it as it’s readily available and works with conventional tank-type designs, and on-demand tankless heaters, heat pump systems, among other options.
  • Natural gas & propane – These fuel sources also work with a variety of heater types and especially gas water heaters. One terrific advantage of this fuel source is availability during a prolonged power outage. Even if your home goes dark, you can still enjoy a hot shower. Of course, if you use propane, it’s necessary to make sure that you keep your tank filled.

When deciding on water heaters, consider your fuel costs. Depending on your area, you may be able to save money by making a smart fuel choice. And if you’re building a new home, an investment in a geothermal system makes a lot of sense.

However, fuel costs aren’t the only thing you need to consider. And, you should know that different types of heaters have different degrees of efficiency. That’s why it is a big part of the cost-saving equation.

Storage Water Heaters

When you say ‘water heater,’ this is what most people think of, and what most people have. Storage water heaters consist of a large water tank that stores hot water for later use. The water is heated and kept warm by either an electric heating element or burners fueled by natural gas or propane. Although, here are some issues related to these water heaters:

  • Efficiency –If you’re among those who like to keep a large amount of water hot, storage water heaters are not very efficient. So, to mitigate this inefficiency, try to go for units that have high insulation values and offer ways to time the heating process for when you need hot water. Keep in mind that both energy costs and energy sources are essential for you.
  • Cost– Storage water heaters are mostly the cheapest option in water heating. The technology is simple, and there are many manufacturers. The life span is limited, so you should plan to replace the unit every 10 years.
  • Installation – Installation of a storage water heater is not that hard. But you should contact a professional like us instead of DIY because sometimes there are risks involved.

Tankless or On-Demand Water Heaters

As the name suggests, the tankless heaters provide hot water on demand by heating water as it travels through the unit by utilizing electricity or a gas burner. And since you’re only heating the water you need, significant savings in energy usage are possible. But, there are some issues to consider here as well:

  • Demand– If you have a large household with substantial hot water needs, most probably, a tankless system isn’t the one for you. However, installing multiple units in parallel can fix that problem.
  • Lifespan– Tankless heaters boast extended lifespans when compared to storage heaters, 20 years versus a lifespan of 10-12 years. And even if they malfunction, it’s usually merely an issue of replacing a part to get it working again.
  • Cost– You’ll have to pay more upfront for a tankless water heater. But given their longer lifespan, you’ll probably recover your investment.

Further, you might know that water heaters are one of the most used electrical appliances in a household during extreme weather conditions. And with several brands in the market with different types of water heaters, sometimes it gets hard to pick a water heater. So let’s see, apart from heating water, what other aspects you should look for in a water heater before buying it.

  1. Need

The size and type of water heater depending on the amount of hot water required in your household. For example- for a family of 2-3 people, an instant water heater is enough, whereas, for more than three people, storage water heaters will be required. Also, always consider buying a water heater according to your needs as it’ll keep electricity and water wastage in check.

  1. Type

There are various types of water heaters, such as storage tanks, instant, and gas, etc. So, it’s essential to have clarity about the kind of water heater you want according to your requirements.

  1. Energy Efficiency

It’s imperative to look for an energy-efficient water heater while buying. So before doing so, just look for the *star rating label on the water heater. The most “energy-efficient” heater will be with five stars. Also, comparisons suggest that the traditional electric water heaters, the modern tankless water heaters are much more energy-efficient.

  1. Features

Features are equally essential while buying a water heater. One must look for features such as automatic thermal cut-out, a safety valve for pressure release, adjustable thermostat settings, glass coated heating element, and, most importantly, rustproof outer body, among other features. If your water heater has these features, it will perform better and with ensured longevity.

  1. Warranty

The warranty shouldn’t be overlooked when buying a water heater. Our advice is that you should not choose a water heater with only the longest warranty period, but look for a warranty on the heating element and tank too while deciding.

  1. Safety

Better safe than sorry, right? Though water heaters are safe to use, there’s no harm in looking for protection when you’re out there buying one. Remember to check for the safety valve, which opens to release pressure if the temperature gets too high. It is highly important as it saves the water heater from blowing up and causing harm.

Now that you know ‘how to choose the right water heater,’ after choosing one, call Lone Star Water Services to come and install it for you.

Benefits of a Water Softener for Your Home

water softener for home

 

A water softener is usually necessary in areas where the concentration of these metal cations exceeds seven parts-per-gallon (ppg). Almost fifty percent of the US falls under this category. For places not supplied by rivers or lakes, most people rely on their local utility companies to perform water treatment by removing the hardness in their water.

Five Ways a Water Softener Can Help You and Your Home

1. Water softeners can reduce the corrosion on pipes and fixtures and significantly reduce the build-up of limescale on dishes, pipes, toilets, plumbing fixtures and even appliances. In this regard, their lifespan is extended, thereby reducing the chance of them needing early replacement, which is a great cost-saving to your home.

2. Hard water makes it difficult for detergent to lather. Soft water enables soaps and detergents to work more efficiently and effectively on your clothes and on your skin. This may reduce the dryness of skin and improve the quality of your clothes.

3. Softened water in general feels much softer on the skin for most people, which means more comfortable and soothing showers and baths. This can do wonders for your mental health while at home.

4. Water that has been softened tends to leave less soap scum, mineral stains and residue on sinks and fixtures, which makes the cleaning process less onerous for moms and cleaners.

5. Since softened water is such an efficient and effective cleaning agent, your water bill is likely to be reduced. You’ll no longer be wasting money, time nor water by re-washing dishes or clothes, nor even by having longer showers in order to feel properly cleaned.

Water Softener Systems

Household water softener systems work by running hard water through tree and plant resin covered in positively charged sodium ions with a net electric charge. The sodium concentration in the coating replaces the calcium and magnesium contained in the water.

Water softening systems require constant maintenance. Sodium pellets are needed to keep the resin electrically charged. The resin can start to harbor bacteria and fungi if not properly maintained, so regular cleaning and maintenance of the equipment is essential for optimal water safety.

Water safety is of even greater concern with water softening systems due to the additional

sodium content it places in drinking water. For this reason, some drinking water systems use potassium pellets instead of sodium pellets in their softening systems, especially for persons on low-sodium diets. In addition, other water softening systems use citric acid, magnets, or other ways to reduce the calcium and magnesium content of home water.

How Does a Water Softener Work

A water softener basically converts hard water to soft water. Depending on the type of water softener used, the filtration process may vary. There are 3 main types of water softeners: ion exchange, salt-free and reverse osmosis.

1. Ion exchange softeners are commonly used in the household to soften water. This type
of water softener removes the calcium and magnesium from the water and replaces
them with sodium or potassium ions, thereby removing the adverse effects of hard water. It also helps water-based appliances last longer. How it works is that salt pellets are used in a large tank to carry out the exchange of these ions in the water.

2. Salt-free softeners use mechanical filters to remove calcium primarily as it passes through the membrane. No chemicals are used, so the minerals in the water are not affected. It isn’t very effective on really hard water which may be very magnesium-dense.

3. Reverse osmosis works by softening water through a somewhat osmosis process to filter it, hence the name. With pressure, hard water is passed through a semipermeable membrane, which filters up to ninety-eight percent of most impurities.

These softeners can be quite expensive, but they filter large quantities of water at a time and are very effective in removing other impurities, in addition to calcium and magnesium. Whether your water comes from a well or the municipality, using reverse osmosis in Austin is a smart idea.

How to Install a Water Softener

The level of difficulty in installing a water softening system will highly depend on your home, your pipes, and where you plan to install your water softener. We recommend that you hire a professional if you have no experience in doing these kinds of home improvement projects, especially those involving pipes. If you get it wrong, the consequences can be disastrous.

If, however, you have DIY experience in pipe installation or plumbing and feel comfortable with cutting through pipes, you may be able to do the installation and improve the water quality in your home.

Bear in mind that for some regions, installing a whole house water softening system requires you to adhere to building codes and you may need a permit as well. If a permit is required, your work will need to be inspected by the relevant bodies. Contact your city before commencing in order to find out which systems require a permit.

Call Lone Star Water Service Today

We all need clean drinking in our homes and places of business. Bottled water gets pricey over time and the continued use of plastic is not good for our environment. The alternative, to use tap water, is not the healthiest solution, regardless of your water source. Using treated water is the next option to consider. Our prices for water softeners are competitive and affordable.

Many property owners want a water softener in Austin can figure out which system is best for them. The benefits to owning a water purifier and softener system are vast; preservation of your pipes and appliances and clean, healthy water for your family.

Don’t hesitate to contact us to find out how we can get you water softening system up and running.